December 2016: Update | Cycle Bella Italia

December 2016: Update:

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Benvenuti! Welcome to Cycle Bella Italia. We had three great weeks of cycling in Tuscany in 2016 and are now taking reservations for our Tuscany trips in 2017. Book soon to reserve your place. We’ve just completed making the arrangements for one week of riding at Lake Como in September 2017! Below are some details of that trip.

The Cycle Bella Italia Team

cycle-bella-italia-team

Visit our website www.cyclebellaitalia.com, follow us on Facebook and see our updates and posts on Instagram.  To learn more about Cycle Bella Italia, our 2016 trips and plans for 2017, email us at: [email protected]

Italy in 2016

We had an incredible time cycling in Tuscany in June and July of this year.  The Val d’Orcia and the other valleys near our home base of Pienza are a patchwork quilt of vineyards, olive groves and fields of hay throughout this land of rolling hills.  Tuscany is not as populated as some other parts of Italy, with smaller towns that are not as heavily visited by tourists.  Wine, cheese and olive oil tastings, truffle hunting and special dining experiences, along with great cycling were all a part of our amazing experience.  Visit the Cycle Bella Italia website to see the 2016 photo gallery and to sign up for a trip with us in 2017.

Tours for 2017

Our first week in Tuscany in 2017 begins June 17th – only 6 months to go before our cycling begins!  We’ll have a chance to ride to some of the quaint hilltop villages and experience the culture and lifestyle of Tuscany.  We’ve been taking reservations this fall, so contact us soon to reserve your spot with us in 2017 for an incredible Tuscan travel experience.

We’re excited for 2017 to be adding a week of cycling in the northern Lake District based at Lake Como!  The region is truly breathtaking with panoramic views of the Lakes of Maggiore, Lugano, Como and Garda set against the backdrop of the Alps.  The terrain is hilly, so if you choose to join us for the week in Como, be prepared to do some climbing.  As an added challenge, we plan to shuttle further east to take on a couple of the monster Giro d’Italia climbs of Stelvio and Mortirolo.  For those that decide to add the Giro climbs to the Como cycling trip, be ready for those hills – they’re tough as you can see from the following photos!  If you want to ride Como, but not assault Stelvio, we’ll have rides on those days near our home base that will give you all the riding you could want.

 

Lombardy

Nestled in the northwest of Italy, Lombardy is situated just below Switzerland and to the northeast of Piedmont. The main center of commerce is bustling Milan in a region with an array of beautiful “art cities” including medieval Bergamo, Cremona (home of the violin where Stardivarius had his workshop) and Mantova.

Lombardy is a major gourmet epicenter with the highest concentration of Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, and many famous foods such as Bresaola, Panettone, Taleggio and Gorgonzola cheeses, Polenta and Mostarda. Famous local recipes include Risotto Milanese and Ossobucco.  Olive oil made on the shores of the Garda and Iseo lakes is highly respected throughout Italy.

We’ll have a number of rides around Lake Como that will allow us to enjoy the beauty of the lake, ride some challenging routes and experience the food and culture of the region.  A visit to Madonna del Ghisallo is a must for that week.

Wine Lombardy

Although the wines of Tuscany, Piedmont and the Veneto are much better known, the wines of Lombardy, are becoming more popular and available. The region produces everything from dry, still reds to sparkling whites with a champagne-like zest.

One of the more interesting things about the wine of Lombardy is that while this area is the industrial center of the country, some of the most artisanal, small production wines are produced here. Throughout the region there are small, beautiful, unspoiled vineyards.

Lombardy offers some outstanding conditions for vine growth with influences from the Alps to the North, the lakes of Garda, Iseo, Como and Maggiore and the Apennines in the south. Its wines offer great variety and character, with a mixture of modern and traditional, as well as native and foreign grape varieties.  Most of the wines of the region are wines are diverse and interesting character, including reds from Pinot Nero and Barbera and modern whites from Riesling and Moscato.

Franciacorta DOCG is the best known of the sparkling wines, made with grapes grown on the slopes around Lake Iseo. Chardonnay, Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco are permitted and the best examples have much in common with Champagne.

Let’s enjoy some of these wines on our tour next year.

From Our Shop

Each year we design a new cycling kit for our guests – go to our website gallery to see examples form the past couple of years.  Join Cycle Bella Italia for a week and get the 2017 Castelii Cycle Bella Italia kit included with your trip.

We found our Cycle Bella Italia messenger bag to be incredibly useful.  We may redesign the bag a little, but we’ll definitely have one as a gift for our guests in 2017.

Arriverderci!  A Presto.